- Pascal , Blaise
*(1623–1662) French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher*Pascal was the son of a respected mathematician and a local administrator in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Early in life Pascal displayed evidence that he was an infant prodigy and apparently discovered Euclid's first 23 theorems for himself at the age of 11. While only 17 he published an essay on mathematics that René Descartes refused to acknowledge as being the work of a youth. Pascal produced (1642–44) a calculating device to aid his father in his local administration; this was in effect the first digital calculator.Pascal conducted important work in experimental physics, in particular in the study of atmospheric pressure. He tested the theories of Evangelista Torricelli (who discovered the principle of the barometer) by using mercury barometers to measure air pressure in Paris and, with the help of his brother-in-law, on the summit of the Puy de Dôme (1646). He found that the height of the column of mercury did indeed fall with increasing altitude. From these studies Pascal invented the hydraulic press and the syringe and formulated his law that pressure applied to a confined liquid is transmitted through the liquid in all directions regardless of the area to which the pressure is applied. He published his work on vacuums in 1647.Pascal corresponded with a contemporary mathematician, Pierre de Fermat, and together they founded the mathematical theory of probability. Pascal had been converted to Jansenism in 1646 and religion became increasingly dominant in his life, culminating in the religious revelation he experienced on the night of November 23, 1654. Following this he entered the Jansenist retreat at Port-Royal (1655) and devoted himself to religious studies from then on.

*Scientists.
Academic.
2011.*

### Look at other dictionaries:

**PASCAL, BLAISE°**— (1623–1662), French religious philosopher, writer, and scientist. Pascal, an ardent Christian, was a member of the austere Catholic group known as the Jansenists. He is famous for his Pensées sur la religion (1670), fragments intended to form… … Encyclopedia of Judaism**Pascal, Blaise**— • French scientist and philosopher (1623 1662) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 … Catholic encyclopedia**Pascal, Blaise**— ► (1623 62) Matemático, físico y filósofo francés. Escribió a los dieciséis años un Tratado de las secciones cónicas e inventó a los dieciocho una máquina calculadora. Sus experiencias acerca del vacío y del equilibrio de los fluidos son… … Enciclopedia Universal**Pascal, Blaise**— born June 19, 1623, Clermont Ferrand, France died Aug. 19, 1662, Paris French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. The son of a mathematician, he was a child prodigy, earning the envy of René Descartes with an essay he wrote on… … Universalium**Pascal, Blaise**— (1623 1662) mathematician, physicist, philosopher Considered one of the great minds of Western intellectual history, Blaise Pascal was born in Clermont Ferrand. His father, who had early recognized his exceptional gifts, oversaw his… … France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present**Pascal, Blaise**— (1623–62) Mathematician and Theologian. Pascal was born in Clermont Ferrand, France, and from an early age showed a remarkable talent for mathematics. In 1646 he first came into contact with Jansenism and in 1651 his sister Jacqueline… … Who’s Who in Christianity**Pascal, Blaise**— (1623 1662) A French poet, mathematician, natural philosopher, and mystic who suffered from recurring headaches, vertigo, and episodes of partial paresis of the limbs, as well as from visual disturbances which have traditionally been labelled… … Dictionary of Hallucinations**Pascal, Blaise**— (1623–1662) French mathematician, physicist, and philosopher. A mathematical prodigy, Pascal published his mathematical discoveries on the theory of conic sections at the age of sixteen. He invented the first practicable calculating machine, in… … Philosophy dictionary**Pascal, Blaise**— (1623 62) A French mathematician, philosopher and Christian apologist, Pascal became a defender of the Christian faith and, in particular, of its Jansenist form (against the Jesuits) after a religious experience in 1654 turned his primary… … Christian Philosophy**Pascal,Blaise**— Pas·cal (pă skălʹ, pä skälʹ), Blaise. 1623 1662. French mathematician, philosopher and inventor. His early work included the invention of the adding machine and syringe, and the co development with Fermat of the mathematical theory of probability … Universalium